Is this the end of the Nike Kobe line?

Is this the end of the Nike Kobe line?

The Kobe Bryant and Nike contract ends this month, but his estate has not renewed it. Here’s what it could mean for die-hard fans of the Black Mamba.

Kobe Bryant Nike Contract Ends: No More Kobe Protros?

Today, April 20, the contract between Nike and Kobe Bryant ends, marking the end of an 18-year long partnership. According to ESPN’s Nick DePaula, Vanessa Bryant and Kobe Bryant’s estate have not renewed their contract with Nike, which expired this month.

According to DePaula’s tweet, it’s not clear what this means for future Kobe retros and how exactly Nike will navigate releases that were meant to fall under the Kobe line. Crucially, his tweet confirms that there are no plans for future Kobe releases.

The end of Kobe Protros?

Currently, it looks like Nike and Kobe’s estate have no plans to produce more Kobe sneakers. According to Fox, Nike will release the last of Kobe shoes – the ‘Hall of Fame’ Nike Kobe 6 – later this year. No mention on Fox however about the other Kobe protros meant to drop later this year such as the 3D Lakers and the Orange County. More than ever, you shouldn’t sleep on the remaining Kobe x Nike drops.

Kobe Bryant Nike Contract Ends: No More Kobe Protros?

Potentially, Nike could follow in the footsteps of what Adidas did in 2003 when Kobe left the German sportswear brand —rename some of his most iconic sneakers to keep them on shelves. For example, his Audi TT-inspired Kobe 1 was renamed the Crazy 1 when it was retro-ed in 2006.

Kobe Bryant Nike Contract Ends: No More Kobe Protros?

However, many of Kobe’s designs with Nike has his Black Mamba insignia and his signature on the heel. These design elements may have to be removed which could make all future retros noticeably different from OG Kobes.

Nike’s stance

Kobe Bryant Nike Contract Ends: No More Kobe Protros?

Nike has released a statement following the announcement of their split.

“Kobe Bryant was an important part of Nike’s deep connection to consumers. He pushed us and made everyone around him better. Though our contractual relationship has ended, he remains a deeply loved member of the Nike family.”

Reminisce Kobe Bryant’s sneaker history: Relive Kobe’s legacy via his sneaker collaborations

Loading...

Subscribe to our Newsletter

We’ll pull up to your inbox weekly with the hottest news, style guides, drops and leaks

OUR TOP PICKS